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post #31 of 346 Old 03-07-2019, 07:20 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Garden 2019

Thanks, it does seem to work well. Here's a few pictures of plants, started using this method. The biggest problem I had, was the wet Spring last year. I did not get plants set out until nearly the first of July. So most were pretty root bound in those trays. Then, about a week or so after setting them out, we had a hard downpour of I'm thinking nearly 2" of rain in a short period of time which literally beat 4 dozen each of the tomato, and pepper plants into the ground, killing them. Pretty disheartening. Where I'm usually picking tomatoes, and peppers by mid July, it was in Sept. before they were fully producing. I had plenty to to make my tomato sauces, and put up, and peppers to stuff and freeze. Just came up a little short on what I usually donate to a food bank.

The last picture is of some of the tomatoes taken on Sept. 4, and you can see the gaps in the plants. They were just starting to put on bloom when I took this, so another 20-30 days before bearing any fruit. Hoping for a bit better luck this year.
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post #32 of 346 Old 03-07-2019, 07:28 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Garden 2019

Apparently too many pictures for in the last post,so here's the one of the tomatoes on Sept. 4.

And, I really rather set those seedlings at a younger stage. Like the onions, where there is only maybe 1/2" sticking out of the original seed. You can grasp the seed itself with tweezers, and not damage the little plant. Makes for a good rainy day job if the timing is right, or something to do in the evening. It doesn't take all that long to do, once you get set up.
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post #33 of 346 Old 03-07-2019, 08:09 AM
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Re: Garden 2019

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The only thing I start from seed, is varieties the Amish greenhouse where I buy my plants, does not have. A couple types of paste tomatoes, some onions that were sent to me by a fellow from this forum, to keep them going, and some Leeks.

Last year, I tried germinating seeds in dampened paper towels, placed in a seal-able sandwich bag, with all but about 1" of it left open to breathe. I just placed them on a card table in the living room, which has a lot of sunlight coming in. Most garden forums,and videos tell you seeds will germinate in about 5-7 days. I soon found out with especially the onions, they need to be checked on the 3rd, or 4th day. I also found it's best to use coffee filters, instead of paper towels,because after 6 days, the onions roots had grown through the paper towel, and had to tear the paper towel to get the seedling out. I broke a few in the process. Although they did survive,were smaller than the others with full roots. And, the longer the roots, the harder it is, to poke that rascal down in a small hole of starting soil. I just use the eraser end on a lead pencil to make divots. Then a pair of tweezers to set the seedling. Just kinda' take my index finger, and thumb to pull the media up around the seedling.

Some I started in March, and some later. I'll probably wait a while,until the first of April this year, due to the biofumigtion experiment, and won't be able to set plants until around the first of June. But, once in starting soil, they grew pretty fast. Some I started in 50 cell trays,and others in the 6-pack trays that fit in a flat from previous years of buying plants.

Here's a couple of pictures of some tomato seeds, and onion seeds I started last year. I even started some Asparagus, and Rhubarb seeds the same way. All worked very well, especially the Rhubarb which were good sized in 4 days. But, temps in the living room average 75, so they took off fast.

The least expensive starting media I have purchased has been Pro-Mix, that comes in a compacted bale similar to peat moss. A bale of that will go a long way. I just checked the local Menards, and a 2 cu.ft. bale is almost $13.00. Any big box garden center should carry it. I also bought a bag of vermiculite, and mixed it like 70/30, for a little additional moisture retainer. I bought 3 of the bales, probably 6 years ago, during a clearance sale, and have half a bale left, and I know I've started nearly 1,000 seedlings with the other 2-1/2 bales in those 6 years.

I used a couple standard 3500 Lumen LED shop lights for grow lights, and they worked pretty well. But nothing like real sunlight, after transferring them outside into the little greenhouse I built. Within a week, they were a deep dark lush green. I was late getting them out there, due to a cool wet Spring.

To each his own on seed starting, but this worked well for me, and I'll keep using it. At least you know for sure you have a full tray of plants, and no empty cells.
I've never tried sprouting the seeds like this, though I have had great luck with those self watering seed starting greenhouse kits. I do struggle with regulating the temp and humidity levels and sometimes, certain seedlings get leggy.
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post #34 of 346 Old 03-08-2019, 09:19 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Garden 2019

I was talking to a buddy of mine who raises produce for farm market. He's been scattering seeds on a damp paper towel, in the open. Just gives the seeds a spritz of water a couple times a day to keep the towel damp. It's setting on a table in front of a large window to get sunlight. He's telling me within 3-4 days, lettuce seeds are germinating. Pretty much puts them in a tray of media at this stage, and they are doing good. He'll move them out to the hoop house here in a couple weeks.

If using a grow light, keep it down close, so the plants aren't reaching for the light. I did have some tomatoes get leggy on me, when I put them out in the little green house a couple years ago, due to wet weather. They ended up being about 18" tall. I just planted them laying in a shallow trench, and left approx. 6" exposed. Within a week, the top 6" had turned straight up. The great thing about tomatoes, any stem/stalk a couple inches below the first true leaves will form roots, which to me just makes a healthier plant.

I'm pretty fortunate to have a heated shop, so kept it around 68 in there last year when I put them out there. The only bad thing is, the humidity most generally was around 30%, so a good soaking twice a day was a must. I just used a 1 gallon pump sprayer to keep them watered.
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post #35 of 346 Old 03-23-2019, 09:03 PM
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Re: Garden 2019

DJ54, I see you use red plastic cups the same as I do, We sure did have a lot of rain last year here in PA also, Just plowed my garden on 3-19-2019, Now I need it to dry out nice since my cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower plants are getting big and need planted, My garden did good last year except for the zucchini, some darn bug must have gotten them because every single plant was killed, Looked good 1 day then go out the next and it is dying that fast.
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post #36 of 346 Old 03-24-2019, 02:17 AM
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Re: Garden 2019

Here are my tomatoes ,put them out, in greenhouse, 2 weeks ago.daytime highs were in the 30s.23w flouresent bulb in styrafoam box.Usually leave them indoors longer, till they are half dead,from lack of sunlight.
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post #37 of 346 Old 03-26-2019, 08:41 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Garden 2019

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Originally Posted by stanley55 View Post
DJ54, I see you use red plastic cups the same as I do, We sure did have a lot of rain last year here in PA also, Just plowed my garden on 3-19-2019, Now I need it to dry out nice since my cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower plants are getting big and need planted, My garden did good last year except for the zucchini, some darn bug must have gotten them because every single plant was killed, Looked good 1 day then go out the next and it is dying that fast.
Yeah, I like to think of it as recycling my drink cups. I like them because it allows a little room for root growth, and not get so root bound, if I'm a little late getting them out due to the weather.

We had a record rain fall total last year. It took until the last week of Dec., but we broke it. I lost 4 dozen tomato plants, and about the same of various pepper plants. I lost all of the Carolina Reapers. The rain literally beat them into the ground, snapping the stems off.

It sounds as though you had some vine borers attack your Zucchini. Usually when you see them start to wilt, it's already too late. Here's a link to The Old Farmers Almanac explaining what they are, and some prevention's. https://www.almanac.com/pest/squash-vine-borer If you happen to use the diatomaceous earth, if you have a feed mill near by, you can buy a 50 lb. bag for just a couple of bucks more than what a big box store wants for 10 lbs. Just be sure to wear a dust mask when sprinkling it on. I have a friend in his early 80's, that uses's garden lime to sprinkle on a lot of his plants to keep pest's away. Even sprinkles it on his cabbage heads to keep the cabbage worms of of them.

I'm going to try BT this year on some cabbage, and tomatoes, since my buddy's son who works for the Ohio Dept. of Agriculture, swears BT is perfectly harmless. I'll probably do the lime thing on the cabbage too, for double prevention. I do recall seeing more than several Zucchini patches in my travels, with the leaves and stems dusted with lime, just about the time they start to bloom, so I'll give it a shot..
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post #38 of 346 Old 03-26-2019, 08:51 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Garden 2019

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Here are my tomatoes ,put them out, in greenhouse, 2 weeks ago.daytime highs were in the 30s.23w flouresent bulb in styrafoam box.Usually leave them indoors longer, till they are half dead,from lack of sunlight.
I used 3500 lumen LED shop lights for my grow lights. As you can see in the pictures, the plants have a nice dark green color to them. I got the lights from Rural King, when they had them on sale for like $9.99. I have another buddy that spent some big bucks for the red, and blue only colored grow lights, and his plants didn't look nearly as good as mine.

I may go today, and see about getting the mustard seed for my biofumagation experiment. I'm only going to do about 1/2 to 2/3 of the garden this Spring, due to mustard being susceptible to a killing frost. I'm going to get enough seed to seed it twice, figuring on doing it towards Fall, when there is no danger of frost. I'll at least get a practice run in, to see how to go about it.
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post #39 of 346 Old 03-26-2019, 09:54 AM
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Re: Garden 2019

yea is was the darn squash vine borers that got my plants, I tried several different sprays but must have not gotten them in time, will have to do more searching on the I used diatomaceous earth before for other plants so I will give that a try.
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post #40 of 346 Old 03-26-2019, 03:20 PM
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Re: Garden 2019

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yea is was the darn squash vine borers that got my plants, I tried several different sprays but must have not gotten them in time, will have to do more searching on the I used diatomaceous earth before for other plants so I will give that a try.
Last year was a very wet year and this year is starting out to be more of the same. Hopefully we are a little dryer this year as compared to last year. I had some squash rotting before it got sized simply from sitting on the wet soggy ground.
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post #41 of 346 Old 03-26-2019, 07:41 PM
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Re: Garden 2019

Onion plants came and no way to plant yet, ground too wet!---Will have to spread the plants out and keep cool/dark! Hope spring comes soon!--ground still freezing at night, gets sloppy during the daytime. One case= 30 bunches, we always plant a case.
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post #42 of 346 Old 03-26-2019, 09:22 PM
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Re: Garden 2019

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Onion plants came and no way to plant yet, ground too wet!---Will have to spread the plants out and keep cool/dark! Hope spring comes soon!--ground still freezing at night, gets sloppy during the daytime. One case= 30 bunches, we always plant a case.
This is the first year I started my onions from seed and so far they are doing great, the only reason I did this is because I was told the onions do a lot better this way instead of planting onion sets.
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post #43 of 346 Old 03-27-2019, 01:29 AM
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Re: Garden 2019

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I used 3500 lumen LED shop lights for my grow lights. As you can see in the pictures, the plants have a nice dark green color to them. I got the lights from Rural King, when they had them on sale for like $9.99. I have another buddy that spent some big bucks for the red, and blue only colored grow lights, and his plants didn't look nearly as good as mine.

I may go today, and see about getting the mustard seed for my biofumagation experiment. I'm only going to do about 1/2 to 2/3 of the garden this Spring, due to mustard being susceptible to a killing frost. I'm going to get enough seed to seed it twice, figuring on doing it towards Fall, when there is no danger of frost. I'll at least get a practice run in, to see how to go about it.
Im interested in LED light,need to know if it would help plants transition better to outdoor sun light vs fluorescent.
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post #44 of 346 Old 03-27-2019, 09:30 AM
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Re: Garden 2019

DJ54, Are they T8 bulbs and are they Daylight or Cool white bulbs?
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post #45 of 346 Old 03-27-2019, 10:21 AM
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Re: Garden 2019

They need to be full spectrum grow lights!---at least mine are. These are special grow tubes that came with our plant starter. They do work good, but keep light down just above the seedlings and raise a bit at the time as they grow.
The difference between daylight and cool white is the daylight type are brighter (different spectrum). cool white is more dim or yellowish (not good for plants, wrong spectrum).

In the past we tried regular tubes and found that they need to be the grow light type. thanks; sonny

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